Well, I hadn’t yet gotten around to putting up some kind of generic “Happy Mardi Gras” post when I got the news just now via CRF that Antoinette K-Doe passed away this morning. The cause was a heart attack. Oddly, she apparently had a mild heart attack last Mardi Gras. In any case, she was a true New Orleans original. And I was always impressed that she kept the Mother In Law going even after Ernie K-Doe passed away.
Some bits from the Times-Picayune’s writeup:
Ernie K-Doe died in 2001. But thanks to his wife, he maintained a schedule of public appearances via a life-size, fully costumed, look-alike mannequin. Mrs. K-Doe referred to the mannequin as “Ernie.”
As the mother hen of the Mother-in-Law Lounge, she presided over one of the city’s most diverse, funky-but-chic watering holes. With its vibrant, larger-than-life exterior murals and adjoining gardens, the Lounge stood out on an otherwise rough stretch of North Claiborne Avenue.
As the Ernie mannequin looked on from its corner throne, Mrs. K-Doe served a mix of neighborhood regulars and hipsters from across the city. The Lounge was a favorite haunt of such non-traditional musicians as Mr. Quintron, the Bywater avant-garde keyboardist, inventor and marching band impresario.
On Thursday, she rode in the Muses parade with the Ernie mannequin. She served as the honorary queen of the Cameltoe Ladysteppers marching organization.
Today she had planned to don the traditional Baby Doll costume and parade through the streets of Treme before returning to the lounge for what is always a busy day. She helped revive the tradition of the Baby Dolls marching organization, and was happy to see others take up the mantle.